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Camel - Moonmadness CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.38 | 2195 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars My breath was taken away the first time I heard Moonmadness from Camel. This is some of the best symphonic progressive rock available and it really does take you on a lunar journey. I've always admired the slight Canterbury sound that Camel has been able to retain while managing to have roots firmly planted in symphonic progressive rock; it really gives their music a unique touch that only they have.

"Aristillus" is a short, synth heavy intro with a steady beat. I've never found this track to be anything better than a good introduction to the album, which I'm sure is its purpose.

"Song Within a Song" is the first absolute classic on the album. It starts with a gloomy synth motif that turns psychedelic smooth jazz with a beautiful flute solo. I probably could have preferred this track as an instrumental, but the lyrics here are equally as gloomy as the initial music, and everything picks up pace eventually to reveal some spacey synth melodies.

"Chord Change" is another classic, but with a swift guitar melody at its inception with fantastic drumming and bass backing it. After some vocal doodling, the pace slows a bit with atmospheric synthetic organ chords and beautiful blues/jazz inspired guitar soloing.

"Spirit of the Water" is mostly composed of a single beautiful flute melody and watery flute solo. This song is beautiful, definitely, but not much more than a beautiful mediator between the previous song and the next.

"Another Night" starts out a steady paced rocker with a straight groove and some funk inspired guitar playing. The vocals here fit very nicely and give the track a very epic feel. The music eventually becomes bass dominated while the guitar softly drones and plays fading notes over the top, creating more of the epic atmosphere. The funk-rock riff reappears and we're treated to both organ and guitar solos that mark the end of the song.

"Air Born" begins with more of the beautiful flute that has been so present on this album, accompanied by some soft piano. Eventually, ethereal synth effects and a beautiful guitar solo fill the soundscape before being dominated by watery vocals and a fantastic bass tone. The rest of this track is mostly an airy guitar solo before more of the vocal sections reappear.

"Lunar Sea" starts with spacey and watery synth atmosphere before rushing bass and flying guitar lines soar from the mix. The bass line that comes next is very reminiscent of Canterbury scenesters Caravan, and spacey synths solo over the bass. It picks up pace later for a shreddy blues-rock inspired guitar solo before reverting to this track's spacey beginnings.

Really, this is a fantastic album and really stands out as one of the best in the Camel catalog. It's mostly symphonic progressive rock, but with strong space-rock and Canterbury scene leanings. The music here is full of moods, often being either playful or incredibly gloomy . I highly recommend this to anyone looking for some of the best symphonic prog available, and I'd say this also has great crossover appeal for Canterbury scene fans.

colorofmoney91 | 4/5 |


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